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More scope for social investment to contribute to the UK’s social housing needs, says Big Society Capital

Social issue | 

Big Society Capital has responded to the Government’s consultation: Social Housing Green Paper: a ‘new deal’ for social housing.

Providing homes is one of Big Society Capital’s key theme areas, with the goal of creating a fairer housing market where people, particularly vulnerable people, are able to live in secure and affordable homes and communities.

Several respondents to the Green Paper have identified the need for substantial increases in the number of socially rented homes that are genuinely affordable1, as social housing often forms an important part of preventing and alleviating homelessness.

Social investment is already contributing to a fairer housing market by partnering with housing associations, developing new financial instruments, such as social property funds and charity bonds, to connect more capital to the sector and funding specialist and smaller housing providers. There is now over £400 million capital available in dedicated property impact funds compared to £30 million 5 years ago – and this is growing2.

Anna Shiel, Head of Origination at Big Society Capital, commented:

“As the green paper rightly highlights, housing provision is a serious issue, which unchallenged will continue to grow. Existing market models are not delivering the best outcomes, especially for vulnerable people. We are therefore pleased to see the reference to social investment in the Government’s paper, as we believe it can contribute to increasing the availability and quality of social housing.

“There are several ways the Government could support the use of social investment in this sector, which we would urge them to consider. These include designing grants and guarantees around the social outcomes achieved and endorsing improving standards of social impact management. We look forward to the Government’s response to this consultation and to working with the Government, housing providers and investors to improve the supply and quality of social housing in the UK.”



The full version of Big Society Capital’s response to the consultation can be found on our website here.

1 Crisis: Plan to end homelessness - Chapter 11 Housing solutions

2 Big Society Capital: Big Society Capital investment numbers and data on the Size of the Social Investment Market

About Big Society Capital

Big Society Capital improves the lives of people in the UK by connecting social investment to charities and social enterprises.

We know that investment can help charities and social enterprises achieve more. We believe the greatest chance to improve lives comes when investors and enterprises are both motivated by social mission.

We engage with investors, fund managers, charities and social enterprises to make it easier to use social investment. With our co-investors, we have made over £1.3bn of new capital available to organisations with a social mission, through investments into fund managers and social banks. We have a special focus on: providing homes for people in need; supporting communities to improve lives; and early action to prevent problems.

Press Contacts

Kathryn Mortimer, Press Officer, Big Society Capital

T: 020 7186 2537, E:

Last updated | 
7 November 2018